Question about Extraordinary Eucharistic ministers


At my Parish I am an Extraordinary Eucharistic minister of the Blood of Christ. I’ve been told that if there is any Precious Blood remaining in the Chalice we are suppose to consume it. Then I’ve been told by my wife we are not suppose to do that. I asked my Priest about it and said he really wasn’t sure. The only thing he knew for sure was we are not suppose to purify the Chalice. He said he does not like to consume the remaining Precious Blood because it makes him feel a bit drunk afterwards. He told me he was going to look it up and find out. I was wondering if anyone could point to somewhere in the Catechism or any official Church document on this matter.

Thank You and God Bless!


I believe the USCCB has addressed this in a document on the norms of distribution of Communion under both species:
52. When more of the Precious Blood remains than was necessary for Communion, and if not consumed by the bishop or Priest celebrant, the Deacon, standing at the altar, "immediately and reverently consumes all of the Blood of Christ that remains, assisted, if the case requires, by other Deacons and Priests."55 When there are extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, they may consume what remains of the Precious Blood from their chalice of distribution with permission of the Diocesan Bishop.


Thank you for that! However does anyone have anything more official from the Vatican on this? I just read it to my wife and her response was “That could just be the USCCB trying to make the Bishops seem to have more authority than the Vatican” lol


What document from the Vatican is it that the USCCB is trying to usurp? IOW: What documentation does your wife have to substantiate her position?


Chapter seven relates to Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and there’s nothing there that I can see that contradicts what your Priest said. VIII

However, reading it, it does seem that Extraordinary Ministers should only be used on very rare occasions, and it’s my understanding that they are commonly used in many Parishes.

I’ve looked up some guidelines from other Parishes and it does seem to be the way things are done.

Any remaining consecrated wine is shared and drank prayerfully and reverently by the Extraordinary Ministers present.

Why does your wife think this shouldn’t happen?

Didn’t you go through a period of training?

What did they say at the training?

Sarah x :slight_smile:


[Redemptionis Sacramentum](“ IV”) Chapter IV

[195] Furthermore all will remember that once the distribution of Holy Communion during the celebration of Mass has been completed, the prescriptions of the Roman Missal are to be observed, and in particular, whatever may remain of the Blood of Christ must be entirely and immediately consumed by the Priest or by another minister, according to the norms,

Now, wouldn’t “according to the norms” by logical progression lead you to the USCCB ruling cited by Phemie???


Each Bishop is the teaching authority of his own local Church. I think that this kind of generalized critics is usually very counterproductive at best.


Something is amiss here.
There is no priest anywhere who would tell a person that they “didn’t know” if the EMHC was supposed to consume the last bit, or that anyone would indeed feel drunk after consuming the last very small but in the cup.
**I smell a troll. **
There are endless threads on this topic… look them up.


Completely agree. If finishing the remainder makes the priest feel “drunk” and he doesn’t know the answer to the EMHC question, what has he been doing with leftovers before this “question” was posed to him?


“Leftovers”? What an unfortunate choice of words for the Precise Blood.


I am also an EMHC. If I have any left in the cup, I will simply let another EMHC consume it as I only take a sip at reception of Holy Communion as I do not drink wine otherwise.


Unfortunate, but really, is that the point? Same with saying “obligation,” when talking about when to attend Mass. :shrug:


I meant no harm and was responding in haste. As I presume you were doing as well when you typed “Precise Blood” instead of Precious.


Now, I’m sure it wasn’t. But it would have been better left at explaining without sniping back, because it clearly was not a typo.


Really, Mary?! OK, you got the last word!:wink:


Clearly not a typo? Then I am completely confused because I have never heard it called Precise Blood and even it Googled it before my original response and still came up with nothing. I am done here. I know my heart and my intent when I wrote the post you are picking apart, as does God. And I am not going to fight with you, Neofight.


Generally Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion cannot consume the remaining Precious Blood in their chalices.

From the 2010 General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) approved for Australia:

“284. … b. whatever may remain of the Blood of Christ is consumed at the altar by the Priest or the Deacon or the duly instituted acolyte who ministered the chalice.”

An exception is in the USA, if the diocesan bishop approves. This is because the Vatican has approved “Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America,” which includes:

“52. When more of the Precious Blood remains than was necessary for Communion, and if not consumed by the bishop or priest celebrant, “the deacon immediately and reverently consumes at the altar all of the Blood of Christ which remains; he may be assisted, if needs dictate, by other deacons and priests.” When there are extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, they may consume what remains of the Precious Blood from their chalice of distribution with permission of the diocesan bishop.”

If there is an exceptional situation of more consecrated wine than the priests, deacons and instituted acolytes can consume, then as reported in the USCCB Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy Newsletter of March/April 2002:

"With respect to the second request, Cardinal Medina, Prefect of CDWDS, noted that neither an indult nor even the permission of the diocesan bishop is required for extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion to help the priest celebrant to consume what may remain of the Precious Blood after the distribution of Holy Communion. “Rather,” he wrote, “given the grave and overriding need to safeguard the Precious Blood, ministers of Holy Communion or other communicants may consume what remains of the Precious Blood in a dignified and reverent manner.”


Well I love my wife more than any person on this planet but she graduated from Christendom College and is sort of a “know it all”. I say that with no disrespect towards my wife or Christendom College but my wife will be the first to admit this. Both about herself and her education.


Are you calling me a troll?!
This is what my Priest told me and frankly you need to seriously work on your charity before you start calling people names!


I, OTOH, am ready to take the OP at his word. Nothing surprises me anymore. This is one of those “why didn’t I get the memo?” sort of things. I’ve run into a priest who didn’t know how to treat the cremated remains at a funeral, he hadn’t read the new directives. He was doing nothing wrong but he didn’t know whether he was or not.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit